Goodbye Flowers

The morning sun comes through my window. I’m too lazy to walk over and close the curtains. The flutter in a gentle breeze. The outside world is there in front of me, but it feels so far away.

Today is the day I place flowers on a grave. The grave of a man I knew little about: my father. I wonder if that is the appropriate title for a man that was never around to fulfill the duties of such a role. “Dad” is not the right word either, too much familiarity embodied in such a word that could not be found in that man.

I stretch so as to ready myself to take the next step in a list of many steps that I have made in my head. A list of things to do, today, out of a need to postpone every detail as long as possible. I could get this over with like the tearing of a bandage from your arm. I could forget this self-imposed ritual that I have long forgotten the origins of.

Shall I forever, or at least until I am no longer able to do so physically, be stuck in this cycle of remembering a man that I know so little about. It always comes back to that: how can you mourn a person that you know less about than some strangers?

The sheets are soft against my bare skin. I feel at ease here in bed. To leave it would be a regret once the decision to get out of bed is made. i could remain here for a longer period of time. A period of time like that which has already passed since the alarm clock reminded me I had planned to rise early this day.

This day, as though the day itself holds some grand purpose, when it is a random day. He was buried on a Tuesday. I remember this because Tuesday was the day I was suppose to present a project at school. A project that wen unfinished. A project I received an “A” for, despite not having finished or presented it, out of respect for my loss.

My loss. How can you think of losing something you never truly had as a loss?

The flowers sit on the table beside my bed. I smell their sweetness from here. The smell takes me back to the funeral home. It was a rainy night. I walked the halls of the funeral home trying to avoid relatives I have never seen before and, no doubt, will never see again. I can smell the smell of flowers like a perfume used to disguise the smell of death.

I stretch again. I could prolong the moment of leaving for the cemetery, but my compulsion to keep this tradition is a powerful urge. Like so many urges I will eventually succumb.

I push aside the covers, this will force me to get out of bed, but then I just lie there in the center of my bed. The breeze through the open window is somewhat cold against my naked flesh. I remain for a moment longer to consider my options though I know of only one that I will ultimately choose.

I stand in triumph, having given up the desire to dream a little longer, and I begin my day. A day to remember a man that I knew so little about. A man that died knowing so little about me. The flowers are ready to be placed, and I will soon be ready to stand at his grave.

I will say a few words out loud as though he were there waiting for me to forgive him, I never have, and then I will place the flowers on the ground before leaving again. I will only be there for a few moments on this one day, like every year. A day for flowers, a moment to remember the loss of something never had, and say some words that only I will hear.

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